The Final Frontier – Using Space Efficiently

August 16, 2018

shelf supported mezzanine

In a recent article released by the Wall Street Journal, warehouse space was showcased as being at its tightest since 2000. While this should come as no surprise that this issue of space is consistently growing, the rate at which warehouse vacancy is dwindling is far outpacing the increase in new construction.  In the second quarter of 2018 alone, industrial real estate availability fell to 7.2%. This creates in a unique predicament for those thriving and looking towards expansion, but also provides opportunities for those who can maximize their available footprint.

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So You’ve Decided To Automate Your Facility. What Next?

February 22, 2018

automated conveyor

With the rapid increase of the pace of manufacturing and distribution, facilities that automate manual processes will increase their ROI and grow their bottom line. Customer demand is ever increasing, right along with the costs to service that demand. You want your warehouse to deliver faster and more efficient results without sacrificing production. You’re looking at automating components within your facility to produce this change. But how can you really get started?

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The Best 3PLs are Invisible to Customers

October 6, 2017

warehouse manager making notes

Logistics pros are a lot like the offensive line on a football team: at their best, you know they are doing a great job, but their numbers never get called by television announcers. When they do talk line, it’s usually because someone committed a penalty or allowed a blitzing safety in for a sack. When the quarterback isn’t pressured and there are great running lanes, the line rarely gets mentioned. It’s kind of the same for 3PLs.

The goal of your 3PL should be to avoid those issues and remain unseen and unremarked on by end users.

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The Warehouse Manager’s Guide to Walking Around: Pallet Racks

September 19, 2017

warehouse manager making notes

It’s always busy when you operate a warehouses or DC, but as noted philosopher Ferris Bueller once said, “life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” The same applies to your facility and specifically its pallet racks. A good way to ensure they’re being used correctly and safely is to stop and look around once in a while. In that spirit, let’s touch on some things to examine in your warehouse rack operation.

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Posted in Order Picking & Fulfillment, Pallet and Industrial Racks, Safety & Ergonomics, Warehousing| 1 Comment »

Peak Season Preparation for 3PLs

August 24, 2017

3PL order fulfillment

Winter is always coming.

While you might not be battling an army of zombie warriors, the seasonal surge in orders and fulfillment poised to engulf your 3PL warehouse can feel like a never-ending battle. Preparing for this fulfillment onslaught should be the goal for any efficient 3PL, so you can be ready for the inevitable increase in all facets of your business. By efficiently handling the high volumes of orders that flow through your warehouse during peak season, you’ll enjoy the spoils of higher production, correct shipments and overall customer/client satisfaction.

To enhance the preparation, you need to analyze each segment of your process and pick those that seem to be the biggest torment.

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3PL Reverse Logistics: Going Reverse to Move Ahead

July 20, 2017

Make Reverse Logistics a priority

E-commerce customers are increasingly comfortable with a buying experience that includes easy, free and frequent returns. Returns—and the issues involved with them—are nothing new for retail and e-commerce distribution, but the “new normal” of frequent returns offers 3PLs that can leverage their reverse logistics capacity a significant competitive advantage over competitors who can’t adapt to the new reality.

While some companies consider reverse logistics a necessary evil, those with well-managed returns programs can increase overall efficiency and profitability  while satisfying customers and increasing loyalty. They find ways to resell more returned products, and are able to dispose of or restock what they can’t resell more efficiently and with less environmental impact.

What are some ways to increase your returns capacity?

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How Conveyors Improve Lean Operations

November 12, 2015

lean-manufacturing

In Lean Manufacturing, less is more.

A Lean operation’s ultimate goal is to eliminate waste in a system, which it achieves by creating flexibility and disposing of overproduction. Lean environments sometimes shy away from using powered conveyors in their operations, but when correctly applied, automation propels Lean Manufacturing goals—not hinders them. It’s the “secret sauce” of excellent lean manufacturing and warehousing operations.

In a true Lean environment, the customer is paramount. In other words, you need to consider what the customer wants to pay for at every point in your production. The automated solutions of today can help your Lean Manufacturing operation in three significant ways. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Quick Guide to Reducing Warehouse Costs

September 29, 2010

warehouse distribution center

Over at the Operations & Fulfillment site, Curt Barry has written a brief, informative piece on reducing warehouse costs. In particular during a difficult economic climate, cost reduction is at the top of mind for distribution operations.

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Doing more with less: the core mission of material handling

April 27, 2009

Cisco-Eagle CEO Warren Gandall discusses ways to do more with less in a struggling economy

order picking at a warehouseAchieving more with less is a core goal of most businesses. In the warehousing and industrial world, that means building more, shipping more, doing more – controlling more – with fewer resources. The typical issue is labor in many of these operations. It takes people to run a shipping operation, and plenty of them.

“In economically challenging times like now, you’re being asked to produce more per person than ever,” said Cisco-Eagle’s CEO, Warren Gandall. “You’ve probably had to let people go. You may have shut down some areas, cancel contracts, cut a shift, and take the steps necessary to emerge from this downturn. But the big question is, how do you emerge stronger?”

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